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Curly Nikki

Self-Concept Thursday!

By January 27th, 202119 Comments
Self-Concept Thursday!

I Stopped Playing the Victim. You Can Too.
by GG of TheWriteCurlDiary

No one should feel powerless. How can anyone maximize their potential and their contribution to the world when they don’t know how to use their own power? And yet, we give our power away everyday as if there is some type of reward for playing the victim. You see, no one can take your power – only you can give it away. When you do, the resulting self-pity and desperate behavior basically repel the things you really want.

So many of us are unaware of how much we sabotage ourselves in this way. Willfully, we play the role of the powerless victim as a defense mechanism. Playing this role seems easier because we don’t have to admit our weaknesses or take responsibility for ourselves. And therein lies the problem. There’s no personal freedom in playing the victim.

I played the long-suffering victim for way too long before I realized that many of my self-esteem issues came from doing just that. I didn’t stand up for myself, so I didn’t respect myself and I didn’t expect others to respect me. While I recognized this self-defeating quality in myself, I blamed it on my flawed nature and I didn’t think I could change.

But I did. And if this sounds like you, then you can do it, too.

Here are some basic, everybody-goes-through-this-stuff concepts to help you recognize ways in which you can take your power back:

*Don’t take it personal. Stop being so sensitive. So, you didn’t like that person’s tone of voice or you think what they said is unfair. So what? That’s their reality, not yours. Allow people to express their truth without it impacting yours. Maybe you didn’t get invited to something. If you think there’s a misunderstanding, address it without bitterness. Otherwise, let it go. You can’t control what other people think, say or do.

*Trust people to be who they are. If you know someone to be a gossip, then don’t be surprised when they gossip. I’ve known people to have undesirable qualities, and yet I’ve continued to deal with them thinking that their behavior would never be directed at me. Use your observations to empower yourself. If you choose to stick around then realize that you may ultimately be negatively impacted. If and when that day comes, remember that you chose to play with the fire.

*Get to know yourself intimately. When people criticize or attack you, it hurts deeply when you aren’t certain of who you are. Sometimes we catch it right in the heart and find ourselves defenseless because someone has hit upon something we are already insecure about. Am I really a bad person? A poor writer? lazy? selfish? The only defense for this is self-awareness. Know your strengths and weaknesses and be open to discovering new ones.

* Exploit your weaknesses. Getting comfortable with my weaknesses has put me in touch with a deeper level of self-expression and creativity. We are taught that weaknesses are unpleasant and unpopular, but I disagree. There’s nothing more attractive than candor. One day, I started telling people about my bouts with depression and anxiety. I started talking about my self-doubt. Instead of feeling ashamed and letting it control me, I exploited it. I put it to work. Now, no one can use it against me because I’m not trying to hide it.

*Always start back at one. Be accountable. Remember that you are happening to the world and it is not happening to you. Don’t look at life as a blame game, see it as a huge classroom. Confidently admit when you are wrong or when you don’t know something. Remember that when you blame others, you only block your own growth. Know where you’ve come from, where you are and where you would like to go and find meaning in everything.

Despite my declaration that my days of playing the victim are over, I still feel ignored, misunderstood and mistreated sometimes. Who doesn’t? The difference is that now I don’t dwell on these feelings for long. I find the lesson and keep it moving.

Do you have a pattern of playing the victim or know someone else who does? Let’s compare stories.

Simply stated, GG is a mama who loves writing, hair and self-discovery. The Write Curl Diary is an outlet for her passions. You can connect with her on her blog, on twitter or at Peace Love and Pretty Things.


  • myilanna says:

    i call myself a people pleaser i try to make everyone happy by sacrifcing my needs and desires and i must say i look at this in a good and bad way i love helping people i feel god put us here to help other imo but i also take it to an unhealthy level where i sacrifice the things that i needs for others wants its horrible i feel bad when i dont do it and i feel bad if i do as well which makes me feel guilty so i feel guilty no matter what i do… its exhausting im in therapy now so hopefully i will be able to balance it better

  • Erica S says:

    I'm definitely used to playing the victim when it comes to comparing myself to others. It's almost like it's easier to play the victim than it is to empower ourselves at the risk of getting let down.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wonderful…I definitely needed to read this. I went through something this morning and I have to stop giving others my power. I thought I was strong but maybe I'm not. I know I used to be and I MUST regain my strength back and enpower myself starting TODAY…..Thank you so much for this article.

  • Anonymous says:

    Are you haters of a different opinion listening?! LOVE THIS:

    "*Don't take it personal. Stop being so sensitive. So, you didn't like that person's tone of voice or you think what they said is unfair. So what? That's their reality, not yours. Allow people to express their truth without it impacting yours. Maybe you didn't get invited to something. If you think there's a misunderstanding, address it without bitterness. Otherwise, let it go. You can't control what other people think, say or do."

    Therefore get off the "we all must have the same opinion" bandwagaon, when someone expresses a dislike on a style someone posts! If folks are so sensitive about the opinions of others re their personal style then maybe they ought not put themselves up for public scrunity.

  • b. says:

    @ Anon 12:18, please please reconsider doing away with your introversion! Introversion and extroversion works on a scale; it's not an either/or thing. We introverts can definitely socialize with the best of them, but tend to draw our strength from down/alone time. One book I'd recommend is The Introvert Advantage by Marti Laney and other recently published books about being introverted. (Laney's book is good, but you may find a few things to disagree about.)

    As to the larger post, thanks! My key thing is having people in my life who are willing to be a kind mirror for me for my weak spots. I have close friends but it's hard for me to ask them straight up what they are. Sometimes the self is better reflected back in those close to us rather than just from within (it's hard to see a spot in the middle of your back).

  • CurlyInTheA says:

    Love the article! Especially the last two points, which I'm taking to heart.

  • Anonymous says:

    I echo the sentiment – I really needed to read this today. I also need to get the statement "Allow people to express their truth without it impacting yours" tattoed on me somewhere to as a reminder!

  • Anonymous says:

    OOPs! That's PAULO Coelho.

  • Anonymous says:

    Anon 12:18PM

    Good luck with your journey. Miguel Ruiz is an amazing author. So is Pualo Coelho. Please check out THe Alchemist when you can. It is by Coelho. You caould probably find a relatively inexpensive paperback version on Amazon. He has also written a number of other wonderful books which have meaningful life implication.

  • Anonymous says:

    This was an excellent post, and reflects some of the things I've been reflecting on over the past week.

    I know my life could be better, but didn't know how to fix it. I'm an introvert, and I want to change this so badly, you just dont know! LOL!

    So, I started doing internet searches, which led me to to look for specific self help books. Since I'm a BROKE introvert, I borrowed the books from my public library!

    I've read books on networking, style makeovers, poise and manners, social intelligence, etc. No, I was NOT raised by wolves! But my siblings and I were raised very sheltered in an authoritarian household.

    Right now, I'm reading "the Four Agreements", a book recommended last week.

    This process of reading books to improve my social life has helped me tremendously! You may think it sounds silly, but it's hard for others to understand what introverts go through.


  • Anonymous says:

    This is an excellent post…kudos to you GG!! Everything that you wrote about is so true. I can definitely relate to the "victim" mentality. But, as you stated when you take the time to truly learn more about who you are,and not allow others to dictate your worth, it frees you from that mindset. I've learned to love me with my faults, weaknesses and all! No longer do I nor will I play the victim!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Good post. i know tons of people who play the victim card, hard and I actually find it funny how these folk respond when you refuse to be a part of their self-pity party. I am compassionate and empathic, but not an enabler. I just don't have the time or energy for it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Excellent post!!

  • Kim says:

    This is great!

  • Anonymous says:

    I too, can relate to this. It took me to go through therapy to realize that I give my power away. Ironically, this wasn't something my therapist pointed out, but something I realized about myself.

    I have become a more confident person and my self-esteem and self-image have improved. I embrace my faults, and I have learned to be unapologetic about my strengths. 😀

    This is a very good post. Thank you!

  • Anonymous says:

    I also…needed to read this… THANKS YOU!!

  • Rashida says:

    I needed to read this…thanks so much!

  • Rhonda C says:

    Nik & GG – Truth! No chaser…….

  • Anonymous says:

    So right on time. I absolutely love this. Thank you.

    All of the concepts shared are so very true, however, concept #1 resonates with me the most. I use to be that person who became defended quickly all because of someone's tone. I often never took the time to step out of the box, look in and evaluate the situation for what it was.

    As I've grown to love self fist more, I realize many things are not as complex as I try to make them out to be.

    Thank you for this post!

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